Garden Boxes, Greenhouse Tables

I’ve built ten more garden boxes for outside gardening.   I used 2″ x 6″ materials with just basic framing design.

They won’t last forever, but I don’t want them to. Once they eventually disintegrate the soil inside will be scattered around to help build up the poor soil in this location.

The fruit trees will eventually grow up and provide too much shade and I’ll be redoing the location of the raised beds elsewhere. By then, I expect to have more fencing to deal with the voracious four-legged rodents.

I’ve been using soaker hoses to help water the boxes in the past, but already have built an automated watering system with PVC and black plastic poly pipe and a mechanical timer.

Forgot to take a picture of the watering system, but I can probably do that tomorrow (today!).

Picture of some of the vegetables growing.  Most of these are now in the outside garden.

The greenhouse with some of the “pallet tables” I started with this year. I recycled a bunch of old pallets, simply setting these on concrete construction blocks.

This worked, but they’re not in very good shape. It was also inefficient use of blocks and space, so back to work …

I built eight of these!

They are built with 4′ x 12′ horse panels and 2″ x 6″ framing, which is just like a cattle panel (heavy gauge welded mesh) but with smaller mesh size of 2″ x 4″.

I generally construct with cadmium plated screws on nearly all small construction, because it’s easier to disassemble and repair or recycle (or fix mistakes).

Torx head (star) screws are much better then Philips head which I never buy anymore, you simply never strip one out. I buy them by the case, and have gone through about a dozen cases on various projects, decks and construction and no less then 3 entire sets of cordless drills virtually worn-out.

This should allow the planter pots to sit level on top and not fall through. The very small planters sit inside plastic trays.

The new layout.  Much more efficient use of space. Automatic watering system (drip irrigation and a few misters) will be installed shortly.

There is a fair size space in the center area which will allow for some other ideas I’ve got.

My fig tree is doing good. About half the plants were already transplanted into the outside garden. We got hit with a cold snap of 40 degrees or so, and the cucumbers may not make it.

New planting will resume immediately. I like the new layout much better, a lot more efficient use of the space. I plan to go “vertical” with elevated growing beds.

Worm box (vermiculture). Just dirt, manure and organic material tossed in with some worms we could find. It’s only about 3 weeks old so it will be a while before the soil turns over into something usable.


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7 thoughts on “Garden Boxes, Greenhouse Tables

  • May 31, 2013 at 3:50 am
    I love the horse panel/framing tables…that’s awesome. I’ve never seen cadium plated screws (that I know of…) and nothing by the case at my local Lowe’s building center. Do you order those from somewhere or am I looking in the wrong place? Maybe I need to try the farmer’s co-op or something further from the city?
    • May 31, 2013 at 7:58 am

      They’re gold-colored screws with Torx heads. Should be available at any hardware store. They’re better then the phillip head style, but you still don’t want to use them on pressure treated wood (which I sometimes do). Use ceramic coated screws which will resist the chemicals in the pressure treated wood, especially on critical structural joints. I built several decks that have both treated wood and non-treated wood, picking the right screw can matter.

  • May 31, 2013 at 3:46 pm
    I’m really impressed! You should be very proud, what a spectacular accomplishment. Just beautiful. When I was a kid my ambition was to get a job in a greenhouse. I just love them.
  • June 2, 2013 at 4:18 am
    Very impressive greenhouse, very impressive garden fence and very impressive raised beds.
    One question about the greenhouse: I notice in the next to last picture the steel rods in upper portion of pic that appear to tie together the “rafters” of greenhouse. How are each of the “cross-ties” attached to the “rafters”?
    • June 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

      It’s a twisted metal strap designed for that purpose. It slips over both pipes and is cinched down with bolts.

      Here is a pic:

      This strap is missing a bolt as you can see. The cross-bracing is in the top right of the picture.

  • June 2, 2013 at 9:11 am
    Is your garden soil inhabited by moles, voles, gophers, or any other critters who like to chew on plant roots? We found out the hard way that using quarter-inch hardware cloth stapled to the bottom of each raised bed was a better idea than just setting them up on the bare ground.

    Those horse-panel tables are so creative! You need to write a book with all the tips you’ve learned and put to use on your place as an income supplement. I’ll still hope you’ll eventually decide to share pix of how your whole sustainability operation is set up where you are…

    Which reminds me: if your land was cut over and the soils poor, can I ask what other parameters made it a good choice for you and your family to select?

    • June 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Not in the garden. Underneath the “soil” is hard pan. Can’t dig through it with a pick.

      I have seen the underground rodent signs elsewhere however, but not in the garden due to the fact that there really was no soil that I didn’t put there first. There are “greener pastures” for these voracious little bastards elsewhere. I’ve got a spot where they’re really doing a lot of damage, so I’m no fan of their appetites.

      I don’t think I’ve learned a fraction of what others have already figured out. I started from scratch with nothing here, not even a road. If I did it again, I would do some things differently.

      Answers on your last question: Defensible. Private. No neighbors nearby. Very small town. Even “undesirable” in terms of winters, location, local features (shopping) which keeps people away.

      People will always be the biggest problem (and asset). You don’t get to pick your neighbors usually. Or even sometimes the town you live in due to the need for income.

      Most people are simply too lazy to become intelligent, capable assets. By this I mean “learn” or “help” or “do it on their own”. You’ll wind up housing them, feeding them and taking care of them if you’re not very careful (the evidence of this is everywhere, it’s called food stamps and welfare). I have only heard of a few others in the region “trying this” sort of thing. Everyone else is apparently still plugged in to the system.

      I also view people as being the greatest threat of all, even more then “no food”. Being lazy, they won’t help grow anything. The American sense of “entitlement” is absolutely ridiculous. The threat that people present (from being ignorant or lazy or hungry or bent on thievery) is far greater then the “help” they claim they may offer (imo).

      I’ve been wanting to write a new essay, “The Divine Right of Kings“. This essay will be up shortly and is related to the people points here.

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